While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, April 28


Mike Pompeo talks Iran, North Korea, Nato in first news conference

New US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday  he believes North Korea is serious about denuclearising, but he warned that without a substantial “fix” to the Iran nuclear deal, President Donald Trump is likely to walk away from it.

In his first news conference since being sworn in Thursday, Pompeo repeatedly invoked Trump’s name as he fielded questions at the end of a day filled with meetings at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation headquarters.

Pompeo, who made a secret trip to Pyongyang over Easter, said he came away with a “sense” that Kim Jong Un is willing to denuclearise.

Pompeo sounded a less optimistic note about the fate of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal negotiated with the United States and five other world powers, though he said no decision has been made yet.


Despite warmth, Angela Merkel and Donald Trump still differ on trade, Nato

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Donald Trump aired differences over trade and Nato on Friday at a White House meeting where they tried to put on a show of warmth and friendship despite tensions between the two allies.

With Trump poised to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium soon that will impact European exports, Merkel said the decision is now in Trump’s hands on whether to grant exemptions to European Union nations.

“We had an exchange of views. The decision lies with the president,” Merkel told a joint press conference after Trump complained about the US-European trade imbalance, particularly in regards to automobiles.


North Korea test site still usable, closure easily reversed: US intelligence

The underground nuclear test site that North Korea has pledged to dismantle remains usable in spite of damage from a previous blast, and its closure could easily be reversed, US intelligence officials said on Friday.

"There is no reason to conclude that the Punggye-ri test site is no longer functional," said one US intelligence official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

The US intelligence officials' comments appear to contradict recent academic reports that suggested the range was rendered possibly unusable by a September nuclear test.


Singer Halsey freezing eggs at 23 due to endometriosis

Pop star Halsey, 23, has revealed that she is freezing her eggs due to her struggle with endometriosis, and described how she suffered a miscarriage in the middle of a concert.

The singer - best known as the voice on The Chainsmokers' chart-topper Closer - said that doctors repeatedly ignored signs that she was suffering from endometriosis, a painful disorder in which tissue normally inside the uterus grows outside it.

Halsey said she had decided to freeze her eggs despite her young age due to concerns about future fertility.


Tennis: Nadal keeps up winning run to reach Barcelona semis

Rafael Nadal extended his astonishing winning run on clay to 42 consecutive sets as he reached the semi-finals of the Barcelona Open with a 6-0 7-5 victory over Slovakia’s Martin Klizan on Friday.

The defending champion will face David Goffin on Saturday after the Belgian beat Spaniard Roberto Bautista 6-7(3) 6-2 6-2.

World number 140 Klizan, who had knocked out Novak Djokovic in the second round, came within a point of being the first player since Thiem in May 2017 to win a set against the Mallorcan on the slow surface but the world number one’s famed battling skills denied him that moment of glory.